Having been offered a punnet of strasberries in a fruit shop in UK I decided to find out a little about this interesting little fruit.
The Strasberry is a variety of the garden strawberry, with a raspberry-like appearance, originally developed by the German breeder Otto Schindler in 1925. It is not a hybrid of the two fruits.It is similarly soft textured, with characteristics that are similar to raspberries, such as being a deeper red, being rounder and having a bumpy exterior. They are also smaller than an average garden strawberry and have deeper seeds. Unlike other garden strawberry varieties the strasberry (‘Mieze Schindler’) produces no fertile pollen and will need a pollinator. To therefore grow strasberries, you need a self-pollinating strawberry plant within its proximity. Hence you never find a greenhouse completely full of strasberry plants, there will always be some self-pollinating strawberry plants next to them with bees acting as the pollinators.
Despite its much-valued flavor the variety was threatened by extinction but plants survived in amateur gardens in the former German Democratic Republic until they were reintroduced as a commercial variety by a Dutch farmer in the twenty-first century.
Breeder Hans de Jongh who leads the Beekers Berries Breeding program, started selling the strasberry in 1996. However, due to the difficult growing circumstances and smaller yield compared to the “normal” strawberry, it still is a specialty product not grown by many. Planting the strasberry in your own garden will therefore remain very unique.The strasberry is available from March till mid-December with lower availability around the summer months. This is the same period as the pineberry and bubbleberry.